Sunday, June 20, 2010

World Cup Blues

We limped into the end of term like wounded soldiers, the survivors of a long hard battle. Our children were battle scarred too, after having written the first proper exams of their lives. We awaited their results with some trepidation, and the reports were a true reflection of their efforts. Where they had studied they did exceedingly well, where they had not the results were mediocre.

They have always been home schooled, and we never did exams, we hardly did tests. I don't personally think exams are a true test of knowledge, but there they are, in this reality. Sooner or later they confront us, to get that end of school certificate, to get that degree, to drive that car...

Our children opted out now and then over the three week exam period, seeming to want to ignore the whole thing, lazing on their beds reading Tintin, the afternoon before Biology, or playing touch rugby (Georgia) the afternoon before Social Science!

L and I freaked out - well, me mostly - the thought of failure appalls me, even making a phone call to the ex, to put extra pressure on. I wonder now what all the fuss was about - putting it all down to Joubertina cabin fever. My word, this town makes me lose perspective!

So, yes, off and out we went again, as soon as we could. Another day trip to PE. How I love taking that long road, between the two ranges of mountains. The children came with us this time, a little under duress, but I insisted that they needed to leave town. Signs of Langkloof Rust were beginning to show.

We found PE all abuzz with World Cup Fevah! Oh what joy. I perked up immediately, embarrassing my family by insisting on buying a South African Flag, to set it fluttering gaily from our car window.
In the Langkloof one has to search very hard for the faintest sign of anything to do with the World Cup. Some folk are downright anti the whole thing, refusing to show the slightest interest. Others seem to be of the opinion that football is only for one particular race group - of which they are not part! And then there are those who adore only rugby, and its as if by showing any enthusiasm for football they are being traitors - or worse.

Ho hum. It saddens my heart. We were so excited in PE that day, glimpsing something of the excitement still to come. We hung out at the beachfront, like we always do, eating those burgers from our childhood, and of cause, those choc dip ice creams that bring back so many memories.
We returned to Joubertina with a heavy heart, like a bunch of folk who knew that there was going to be a helluva party and they hadn't been invited.

The morning of the 11th dawned, to find me very glum. L had done his very best to get us hooked up to SABC 1 just for the games - with no success. I hung up my washing that morning with a heavy heart. Dumping the laundry basket and lamenting loudly that it seems to be my destiny to miss all the SA biggies. Overseas and just having given birth on the date of the first democratic elections. We travelled to Glasgow (it was my ex's first time to vote - ever!). It was cold, bleak and the polling station was empty. How we longed to travel to London - but it was too far, with a week old baby and a Cesarean scar. And then there was that great rugby world cup and we were still overseas - and now this!
Joubertina is worse - I wailed - worse that being in Great Britain.

But along came the Dominee - to the rescue - as he so often has done, during our life here. He was throwing a World Cup party at his house - hurrah!
Granted I probably knew the most about Footie than anyone there. But all were enthusiastic, engrossed , and yes, we even got to blow our vuvuzela and wave our flag! I felt tipsy on a couple of shandys, crisps and chicken pie, but we stayed late and went home happy, walking alone through the silent misty streets of Joubertina.

Over the next few days a few more flags came out, one or two vuvuzelas sounded in the distance. A platteland dorp might be the place to be for a couple of occasions, but a Football World Cup is not one of them.

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